Receiving An Answer You Do Not Want
An old saying often repeated is: “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” In like manner, be careful when asking a question, you just might get an answer that you do not want! This is what happened when the rich young man asked Jesus a question about eternal life. Jesus answered him, but the man received an answer he did not want, so he abandoned Jesus (Matt. 19:16-22).
What about us? Do we sometimes get an answer from God that we do not want? How do we react when we learn that the thing we have been doing (or would like to do) is not authorized in the Bible? Do we say, “I’m going to do it anyway”? Do we get mad, or sad? Do we say, “God’s way doesn’t make sense to me”? Yet, when we are honest, we know that such responses do not change God’s word. Getting mad or sad, or protesting, or substituting our ideas for God’s does not change what has been written.
There are several “answers” from God that folks have not liked in the past. For example, some do not like God’s answer to their question, “What must I do to be saved?” The Lord’s answer is faith in Christ, repentance of sin, confession of faith, and baptism (Heb. 11:6; Acts 17:30; Rom. 10:10; I Pet. 3:21; Acts 2:22-38; etc.). People have been told various theories, and so when they hear the truth, there are some folks who do not like God’s answer.
Another “answer” not accepted by folks is God’s answer to the question, “What kind of music do You accept in worship?” God’s answer is vocal music (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 13:15; etc.). Is this the answer men give to us? If not, then whose answer will we accept?
What is the proper response when we get an answer from God’s word that we do not want? The answer is to be honest, and to accept what the Lord says. Yes, there are times when the answers do not make “sense” to us. This does not give us license to change the answer, though! “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4).
The Priceless Word Of God
Have you ever considered the value of God’s word? Yes, many consider it worthless. But, for those who are Christians and love the Lord, it is priceless!
It is priceless because God breathed out (inspired) His word to men by the Holy Spirit (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:20-21). Therefore, what we follow today is truly God’s word, and not man’s. We could place a price on the word of a man, but never upon God’s word!
It is priceless because it is eternal. Many of the books men write today are out of date before they are published! Yet, God’s word is up-to-date (I Pet. 1:25). Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matt. 24:35). God’s eternal word is just as true (Jn. 17:17), as accurate, as alive (Heb. 4:12), and as needed today as ever!
It is priceless because it is truth (Jn. 17:17). There are no false statements in God’s word. Though not a scientific book, God’s word is scientifically true (Gen. 1:1-2; Isa. 40:22; Ecc. 1:5-7). God’s word announces the truth concerning what men must do to be saved (Acts 2:38). It tells us how to live while upon this earth (Phil. 4:8-9; Tit.2:11-12). God’s word directs our steps for living a morally pure life (I Tim. 5:22; Matt. 5:22, 28, 33-48; etc.). God’s true word is a priceless treasure given to men.
It is priceless because of what it took to get His word to us. It took the blood of the Son of God, of martyrs, prophets, and others. It took people losing their livelihoods, friends, family; yea everything so that God’s word might be spread (Heb. 11:32-39). Look closely into the life of the apostle Paul and see what he endured in order to spread God’s word (II Cor. 11:23-28). Consider what our Lord Jesus Christ had to suffer at the hands of His own in order to preach God’s word (Jn. 1:11). Yes, many people knew that God’s word is priceless. Consider the price they paid in order to teach it to others!
Do we appreciate this priceless word as we should? I hope we do! God’s word was GIVEN to men. Yet, it is more valuable than the world!
Did John Establish A Church?
There are people today who believe that John the Baptist established a church some time before Jesus Christ died. Is this true? Let us read the Bible and see the consequences if John established a church.
If John Established A Church, Then....
1. John’s church is not the blood-bought body spoken of in the New Testament (Acts 20:28). Jesus died to purchase His church, not someone else’s.
2. John’s church was not connected with the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:2-5). In contrast, Christ’s church came into existence after the Holy Spirit fell on the twelve (Acts 1:4-8, 2:1-4, 41-47).
3. John’s church is in competition with the one Christ said He “will build”. Yet, Paul said there is only ONE church (Eph. 1:22-23, 4:4).
4. John’s church was founded upon something other than the confession Peter made in Matthew 16:16. The Lord’s church is based upon the confession of Christ as the Son of God (Matt. 16:18).
5. Death prevailed against John’s church, for John was beheaded, buried, and his body stayed in the grave (Mk. 6:16, 27, 29). Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the other hand, was crucified, buried, but arose from the dead, never to die again (Acts 2:22-24, 13:34). Christ said death would NOT prevail against His church (Matt. 16:18)
Friends, who are we going to believe? I wish to belong the church belonging to Christ (Rom. 16:16); the church purchased with His blood (Acts 20:28); the church of which Christ is the head (Col. 1:18); the church which is called His body (Col. 1:24). What about you?
“What Gospel Preaching Can Do”
Preaching Divine Creation stirs the Evolutionist.
Preaching the one true church stirs the denominationalists.
Preaching against liquor stirs the drinker.
Preaching on modesty stirs the immodest.
Preaching on attendance stirs those unfaithful in attendance.
Preaching on pure speech stirs the gossip.
Preaching on dedication stirs the uncommitted.
Preaching on honesty stirs the cheat.
Preaching against sin stirs the guilty.
Preaching on Christ stirs those who love Him.
Preaching on Heaven stirs the hearts of those who want to go there.
Come visit the Caneyville church of Christ and hear soul-stirring Gospel preaching (Acts 17:6; Rom. 1:16; II Pet. 1:13, 3:1)!!
Hearing Problems Or Heart Problems?
There are many that teach that in order to be saved, one must have faith that Jesus is the Son of God (Jn. 8:24; Heb. 11:6). Many agree also that repentance and confessing our faith in Christ is necessary just as the Bible says (Lk. 13:3; Rom. 10:10). However, when there is talk about a person being baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), many people deny that baptism is necessary. Why is this? Could I suggest that when folks deny baptism’s necessity, it is because they have either a hearing problem or a heart problem. Why do I say this? Let us study Acts 16:14-15 and see this truth.
In Acts 16:14-15, we read, “One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.’ And she prevailed upon us.” Notice that before Lydia was baptized, she “heard” the gospel being preached. Her hearing would have produced faith (Rom. 10:17). Not only did she pay attention, but the words she heard also opened her heart, and then she was baptized. She laid aside all preconceived ideas, and simply listened to God’s word. Therefore, as a result of the words she heard, and her open heart, she was baptized.
Thus it is today. When folks declare that baptism is not necessary for salvation, we see they either have a hearing problem or a heart problem. Let us make sure our hearing is sound and our heart is open to the word of God (I Pet. 3:21). This obedience to the Lord will result in our salvation (Heb. 5:9; Rev. 2:14)!